There’s money out there!
In fact, there are a bewildering number of sources of grants.
Grants are non-repayable funds or products disbursed or given by one party (grant makers)
The challenges are to know what you need, to find the right source of the grant you need, and to draft a compelling and persuasive submission.
And that is very like writing a winning tender submission.
The Purpose of Grants
The first thing to understand is the grants are not really about you. They are about those providing the money, not those receiving it.
Again, that is a very similar situation to when a government agency calls a tender. Misunderstanding this can cause failure.
Grants are generally a method for a government to enact their policy in a particular area. Governments want to make something happen.
Billions of dollars in grants funding is provided each year. The trick is to make sure your organisation gets what it needs.
An important thing to know about grants is that they are generally given for projects or programs, not for your core funding. Wages, administration costs, etc. are almost always excluded unless these are part of the project or program.
Project-specific funding is the most common. There are grants that provide funding for new organizations, operational costs, and endowment funding, etc. They can be for new initiatives, technology, employment, regional development and so on.
Who Provides Grants?
The Federal Government and the separate state governments have business development grants, business assistance programs and incentives that are available to businesses. You can browse through the various sites of the individual government departments and, based on your business you can select the grant program most applicable to your situation.
- Federal Government funding is generally provided for projects with a national reach or benefit
- State Governments are a likely source if your activities are focused in a particular region. In the business sector, the State grants generally complement the Federal grants by filling the gaps. State level grants are usually available for businesses that meet the State’s development agenda. This could be regional development, focus on a particular industry, job creation or to fund research in a particular subject.
- For the community sector, much of the Federal funding is delivered through State Government agencies.
- Councils are also very active in funding both business and community organisations. They may coordinate networking events and other services to further support economic development. Similarly, other local council grants may be available for businesses that run local conferences, expos and seminars within the locality or otherwise contribute to local development.
- Philanthropic trusts and foundations also offer significant funding for a wide range of projects, particularly in the community sector.These grants can be hard to find, especially when donors wish to remain anonymous.
Business Activities Funded
For business, grant funding is available for a broad range of activities. The focus, however, is generally on the following areas:
• Research & Development
• Sustainability and Green Technology
• IT & Communication Services
• Medical & Biotechnology
Writing Your Submission
You have identified a likely Grant! Don’t stuff it up with a poorly written submission.
Grant writing, like drafting compelling and persuasive tender responses, is a complex process and if you are not familiar with the field then your organisation should look at options and support.
It is also a competitive process.
Good grant applications clearly state:
- Who will benefit?
- What is going to happen?
- Where is it going to happen?
- Why does it need to happen?
- When is it going to happen? and
- How is it going to happen and
- How much will it cost?
You have to know this clearly in order to communicate it.
Drafting submissions is a skill that you can learn, and improve. If you're willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every submission you make.
But if writing is not your skill, consider getting professional help.
Managing Your Grant
Before you accept any money from a grant-maker, you must be sure you have the capacity to carry out the terms of the contract.
After you get the money you have to deliver exactly what you said you would deliver, in the timeframe that you said you would deliver it in.
If funders believe you can deliver projects on time, on budget, and in the same form as they were approved, you’ll have more hope of achieving a second or third grant, or even ongoing funding (though it’s wise to treat every grant as a one-off).
Take the Next Step
Don’t you just hate it when you put a lot of effort into a submission, and fail. Whether it be a Grant Request or Tender, all require time, effort, and resources. Who wants all that to be wasted by a mistake which causes you to lose out?
It is an old adage that we learn from experience. When it comes to writing requests and tenders I’ve made my share of mistakes, and hopefully I’ve learnt from them.
And having coached, trained and mentored many businesses in drafting proposals and requests I’ve also seen many mistakes made.
How many more times do you want to submit a grant request without getting the results you want, or need?
I want to offer you something to implement the issues I have been discussing here, a stepping-stone to more successful submissions.
- A 30 minute chat about some of your submission issues
- I will identify your opportunities for improvement
- If I can’t help, I’ll recommend someone who can
- There is no cost for the chat. This is my gift to you
© Copyright 2019 Adam Gordon